India vs Sri Lanka: Deepak Chahar flowers under two ‘Icemen’ — Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni

“Watching MS Dhoni close out matches has been a big factor. I have watched him for a long period and I have always seen him finishing matches. When you talk to him, he always tells you to take the game deep. Everyone wants us to win, but when the match goes deep, it is thrilling for everyone involved,” he said during a virtual press conference.

Asked if being seen as a bowler who can bat matters to him, the cricketer said tags don’t mean much to him and it is all about giving the batsman at the other end confidence.

“I have always worked on my batting, my father has been my coach. When I talk to him, we always talk about my batting. It does not matter whether people see me as an all-rounder or not. The batsman who is playing alongside me, will get confidence that I can hang around and will not give my wicket away.

“It is very important for a batsman to know that his partner will support him. It does not matter whether people see me as an all-rounder or not,” he pointed.

Chahar said how coach Rahul Dravid believing in him further helped him script the win in the second game of the ODI series.

“Rahul sir is coaching the senior side for the first time, but he has been there with the A side and I have played under his guidance and coaching. There have been times that a situation has arisen of the batsmen being dismissed and me being out there in the middle.

“I have played good knocks for India A and that is why Rahul sir has the confidence in me. It always helps you when the coach backs you. It is always there at the back of your mind that the coach backs you.

“When I was batting with Krunal, my role was different, I had to rotate the strike. When Bhuvneshwar came in, it was there in the back of my mind that do I need to play my shots? But the way he started, he was looking comfortable and it gave me confidence. His batting gave me the boost and I was not required to take the risks,” he said.

Asked if he has an eye on the T20 World Cup to be played in October-November in the UAE, he said: “World Cup is far away, I have just one target and it is to prove myself with both bat and ball. The selection is not in my hands. We can just perform, I was looking for an opportunity to show my capability with the bat.

“For the past two years, I did not get a chance to bat for a long period, so it was a good opportunity. I am happy I was able to make use of this chance.”

Chahar said he has also been looking to work on his bowling and add variations. “I have been playing the T20 format for a while, and if you do not have variations in that format, it can get easy for the batsmen. Swing is dependent on the wicket and conditions, but if you get variations, you can hold your own in this format. I took a wicket on the knuckleball in the last game,” he explained.

Messages from the squad in England also brought a smile to Chahar’s face as skipper Virat Kohli congratulated him for playing well.

“After the last game, coaches congratulated me from England and even Virat bhai sent a congratulatory message. He told me well played, it obviously feels nice when such big players take note of your performance. It gives the balance to the side if you can come in at number eight and play well with the bat,” he said.

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